Headpress Books Established 1991

Joy Devotion

The Importance of Ian Curtis and Fan Culture

A book about Joy Division fans written by Joy Division fans.


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[su_quote cite=”Stephen Morris, drummer Joy Division and New Order”]Jennifer’s book is a seriously good, considered and well written study on the curious interaction that takes place between the music and the fan. An interaction that can give meaning security and identity in a world where these things are in increasingly short supply.[/su_quote]

Ian Curtis has become more than just a cult figure; he has become a branded, commodified image and idea, now an active simulacrum for over thirty years. In the past decade alone, he has inspired  movies, clothing lines and even skateboard decks. It is the stark lyrics of Curtis, the dark and moody production of Martin Hannett on the two Joy Division albums, and the desolate pictures of the young band left behind that have built a seemingly unshakeable aura of authenticity to the music, myth and continued investment of interest in the group.

This book examines the fascination and devotion for the martyred singer while delving into intimate life stories illustrating the power of music and image in modern life. Written by life-long fans, inspired musicians, academics and even an employee of the cemetery where Curtis is interred, Joy Devotion: The Importance of Ian Curtis and fan culture provides a unique and fresh twist from various perspectives as to why this band and this singer are still so influential in the twenty-first century.

Essays on Curtis explore ideas of memory, death, technology, fandom and secular religion, complemented by photos taken at the Ian Curtis Memorial Stone. Fans and artists contribute their personal insights granting intimate access to the very people who Curtis continues to influence and inspire long past his untimely death in 1980.

Preface by Stephen Morris. Foreword by Kevin Cummins.

Illustrated throughout, including 14 pages in colour.

Posts related to this book

On Joy Devotion

Dr. Jennifer Otter Bickerdike tells us about her upcoming Headpress title, Joy Devotion: The Importance of Ian Curtis and Fan Culture on the fanatical fan culture surrounding Joy Division.

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Brian Gorman

Crispin Dale

Dave Booth

Dave Sultan

Dave Tibbs

David Kerekes

DAVID KEREKES co-founded Headpress and its imprint Oil On Water Press. He is author of Mezzogiorno (2012) and Sex Murder Art: The Films of Jörg Buttgereit (1994), co-author of Killing for Culture: An Illustrated History of Death Film from Mondo to Snuff (1994 & 2012) and See No Evil: Banned Films and Video Controversy (2001) and has written extensively on popular culture.

Gail Crowther

Ian Seivwright

Jamie Stewart

Jason Whittaker

Jennifer Otter Bickerdike

Dr JENNIFER OTTER BICKERDIKE is a Senior Lecturer and former American music industry executive. She has written and presented extensively on fandom and media, authored books about fan cultures and delivering the exhibition 'Joy Devotion: A Year In The Life Of A Rock Shrine At The Ian Curtis Memorial Stone'. Originally from California, Jen is a former Marketing Director for Interscope Geffen A&M Records. She toured with and devised marketing and branding campaigns for major global acts including Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Rage Against the  Machine, Dr Dre, Gwen Stefani, U2 and Eminem. 

Kevin Cummins

Mark Brodie-Wray

Mark Seaman

Mike Grimshaw

Neil Robinson

Philip Kiszely

Robert Warhurst

Stephen Morris


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